Marie Kondo. If you don’t know the name, get thee to Netflix tout de suite.
The powerhouse home organizer has been the talk of the web since her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, premiered on New Year’s Day, with fans using her name as a verb—as in, “I spent the weekend Marie Kondo’ing my apartment”—and turning her tagline, “Spark Joy,” into an Instagram hashtag with more than 125,000 mentions.
Though her wheelhouse is organizing, Kondo’s minimalist philosophy is one marketing copywriters would be wise to employ. Known as the KonMari method, it centers on the oft-cited idea that less is more: Less clutter means less frustration, and less frustration means more connection to the people and things we love.
For us (e.g. marketing professionals), the ‘less is more’ principle behind the KonMari method is also about reducing clutter and frustration to create connection—specifically, between consumers and our products and brands.
Below are three tenets of the Tidying Up / Spark Joy ethos and their marketing copywriting corollary. Use them to produce clutter-free content and create real connections with consumers.
1. Discard unnecessary items
Though tidying is in the title—of both Marie Kondo’s New York Times’ bestselling book and her namesake Netflix show—the KonMari method is less about putting things away and more about getting rid of things that don’t serve a purpose.
Translation? Don’t hide or bury your junk. Discard it.
How does this relate to marketing copywriting? The answer is simple: Keep it simple. Practice word economy. Don’t waste time with jargon. Strip your language and your message down to its leanest, most essential, and most compelling components. This will be easier for your consumer to grasp—and easy sparks joy way more than difficult ever will.
2. Tidy all at once
The KonMari method views tidying as a special event (rather than something you do over time). Cleaning up in a single sweep, explains Kondo, leaves no room for reverting to your messy ways or dragging the process out, and in so doing, giving up.
How does this relate to marketing copywriting? Here, the “all at once” theory is about meeting consumer needs—specifically, helping them avoid getting mired in information hierarchies that create insurmountable barriers to entry. We all know what happens when there are barriers to entry: Your consumer gives up, opts out, and never returns to, engages with, or purchases your brand or product.
Avoid this by giving readers what they want all at once. Construct your copy in a way that moves readers through your information pipeline seamlessly and organically. If the research-to-engagement process is smooth, your readers will make the transition in a single visit (and likely, become consumers). If it’s confusing, they’ll bounce.
3. Visualize your future life
Kondo asserts that keeping a tidy home improves quality of life. Throughout the tidying process, she asks her clients to examine their goals (for example, running) by evaluating why they want to achieve them (getting healthy and living longer).
How does this relate to marketing copywriting? Selling products is about selling lifestyle, and selling lifestyle is about selling the benefits said products provide. Consider Tide Pods. Nobody cares why or how they work. They care that they save time and mess by simplifying the hassle of doing laundry. (No more measuring and pouring laundry detergent.)
Implement Kondo’s visualization approach in your marketing copywriting by focusing on the benefits of your product or brand, rather than its science and specifications. Your reader will tune into this and visualize all the things he or she will be able to do with or because of your product.
In short, less is more, keep your message simple, and make sure every word and phrase you use “sparks joy.” To implement the KonMari method in your marketing content with the help of one of our ‘Smiths, drop a line.